This Week in Greek (26/03-01/04/-429)


I finally splurged and got myself an urn, and a double-decker at that. It's got lovely Muses all around the base, and loftier goddesses on the top level. At least that's what I imagine is happening here. Spin it 'round again, and I might make a completely different story for them. Somebody ought to write an Ode about it. Something about truth and beauty. Also got some new scrolls, mostly diatribes and manifestos, the kind of thing you read when you're waiting around to cast your vote about whatever it is direct democracy requires of us THIS week. Or while in line to see a philosopher speak. These guys are getting to be such rock stars, you'd hardly believe it. But hey, it feels like we're at the start of a civilization, you know? It's kind of exciting.


At the theater: Sophocles' Oedipus Rex is a triumph of cathartic tragedy, I agree with the critics on Rotten Olives, but at the same time - after what, hundreds of plays? - the playwright of our Age is showing HIS. I mean, MORE incest? Hasn't he done this to death (pun intended, I guess)? Feels like Antigone with the genders reversed to me. Of course, you can only work with what you have, and the Myths really do have a lot of this stuff. If it's moralistic, then lesson learned, is what I'm saying. You can count on me, Sophocles, I will not commit incest. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the acting, however. It was quite strong. You almost wish the thespians didn't have to hide their faces with masks (although they were very nice masks, especially the one that bled out of its eyes, how'd they do that?!), but you know, tradition and all that. Will I stop seeing Sophocles' big blockbusters? Of course not. You don't want to miss a chapter of the incestuous (ha!) 'verse he's playing in, but it is getting a bit samey.

How about some comedy? My friend Aristophanes had a very preliminary reading of his first (of many, I hope!) play, The Banqueters, which might well serve as a scathing indictment of both our current leadership if the Peloponnesian War goes badly for us, which we think it will. Ari doesn't half-miss Sparta either, so it's still got a patriotic vein, one that loves our country so much, it dares criticize it and asks it to be better. It's pretty funny already, but when he asked me to give him some notes, I told him it needed bigger leather phalluses and more gags USING those phalluses. I mean, you can never get enough phallus jokes, right? He tells me he's still a few years away from actually putting it on a stage, so I expect I'll be revisiting the play on this space myself when it's taken its final shape.

At home: Been reading The Histories (Book 1: Clio) by the so-called "Father of Lies" Herodotus, and look, I don't know if he plays fast and loose with history (did Arion really ride a dolphin?) - it's all hearsay anyway, right? - but as a yarn about the great men and women who led the way to our Age, it's entertaining enough. When it started with a bunch of rapes, I thought we were in trouble though, but it soon spins into an account of the Trojan War (see below) which is exciting. Towards the end of the book, Herodotus sort of loses the plot and it feels like Appendix country, with cultural detail on Persia and Babylon, but that's still interesting in its own way. Book 2 looks to be about Egypt, mostly, which is a country I've always wanted to see. And vicariously, I will, I guess. I did promise you guys I'd get through all 9 books.

The Iliad was handed down in the oral tradition, but boy am I glad someone thought to write it down a couple centuries ago. It's such a long poem, you'd have to hound the teller (if you found him) over several days, and that's just not practical. Having read The Odyssey FIRST, this longer prequel about the Trojan War surprised me by how little of the supernatural is present. The Odyssey was pure fantasy, and exciting! The Iliad, while it does have its elans of the fantastical, just doesn't feel like it takes place in the same world. It's much more rooted in reality, a reality where every ship must be counted, apparently. Still a great tale, I just miss the monsters.
#The TARDIS lands in the poem... Just watch The Myth Makers when it airs, some 23 centuries from now. But don't miss it then wait for the DVD to magically appear.


Elyse said...

Teehee! I lol-ed 😉

Anonymous said...

I love it ... happy Poisson D'Avril!

Mike W.

Anonymous said...

True fact: "The Odyssey" wasn't composed by Homer, but by someone else of the same name.

Bradley Walker said...

>>True fact: "The Odyssey" wasn't composed by Homer, but by someone else of the same name.


Anonymous said...

Many years ago, an educator named Richard Lederer composed an essay out of statements made by students from across the continent. That's where I get that from:


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